When dance 101 opened in April 2004, ‘Our Story’ was the story of its founder – a remarkable story about a woman who had a dream and the courage to give it a shot.

It began as an experiment! There was no other dance studio like this anywhere. Would people  understand the concept? Would they come? But before long, they came. And came. And came. It felt like we had awakened a sleeping giant. Word of mouth traveled quickly. Classes began to fill to capacity and a year and a half later, in 2006, dance 101 busted out of that tiny studio!

Welcome to dance 101. Front desk of the dance studio.

A lot has happened in our 18 year history but throughout the journey, one thing has remained constant. In fact, it’s the only thing about dance 101 that has not changed…  and that is the collective experience of those who come and dance here.

What follows are a few of their stories.

Don’t be surprised if you find ‘Your Story’ here as well.


Profession: Technology Solutions Architect
Age started dancing: 36

Dancing has been a magical journey of growth and self-discovery for me. For a long time I’d get teased about my attempts to dance. The words dance and Dennis often found their way into a punch line.

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dance 101 Instructor since 2016
Classes: Ballet Fundamentals, Pure Ballet and Pointe

I think my background makes me particularly suited to teaching adults. Because I was not a naturally gifted, specially molded dancer, I grew up spending a lot of time figuring out how to move functionally with what I do have.

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I had long since put dance behind me (something I did quite a lot in my younger years). In fact, I put so much of “Ann” on the backburner that I felt I lost my identity. For the majority of my adult life, I was attempting to live up to someone else’s expectations and ‘exist’ in another’s dreams – which ultimately led to a long and unhappy marriage. Feeling inadequate, desperate, empty, and not me, I ended up in therapy.

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My name is Seth and I am a 42-year-old straight, white male from the South who makes money writing software. Am I even allowed to learn dance? I’ve always thought of myself as clumsy and uncoordinated. I was the kid in P.E. thinking: ‘Okay, you want me to run AND catch the ball? Can I pick one or the other?’ I was the smart kid in school, not the cool kid. I was the adult at a wedding reception sporting the same three dance moves I’ve used since high school…after a few drinks.

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Current Profession: Recovering Executive In the Process of Becoming… 🙂
Age: 55
Started dancing at 52

Every year during the holidays, I use some down time to ponder the year ahead, crafting goals, new habits, and experiences I want to have. Part of that process is to ask myself, “what would I do if I were unafraid?” The answer to that has led me in some interesting directions in the past. But what showed up for me on that day in 2019 would blow up most of everything about my life that had me feeling stuck and unfulfilled. It was a simple idea that packed a heck of a punch: I would learn to dance.

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Profession: Physician Consultant and Advisor
Age: 64
Started dancing at 55

I hate gyms. Honestly, I hate to exercise. It’s boring – for me at least. I’ve never been an athlete, never did sports when I was in school. After graduating college, I went to Med school and got a medical degree. There is no question that agility, balance, strength, and movement are the key to a longer and healthier life. As a physician, I’ve known this for years, but for most of my life I just couldn’t find any kind of anything – sport, fitness, yoga class that held my interest for very long. Never would I have imagined regularly attending a dance studio starting at age 55 and enjoying every class.

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Profession: Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Current Age: Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Started dancing at 42

No matter what was on my mind, I had to completely be present each time in class and give it my all. The result was endorphins to the sky, a huge smile so wide I can’t believe I fit through the door on my way out. Next I know, I become the one recommending dance 101 to all my friends.

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dance 101 instructor since 2022
Class: Centerstage Jazz

I think musical theatre dance is such a special genre as it involves so many different styles and it really calls on students to bring their authentic selves and their creativity to the movement. I think what makes Dance 101 so special is that it fosters that authenticity in each student and supports the idea that anyone and everyone CAN dance (if they want to).

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Profession Store Manager
Age: 34
Started Dancing at 27

A few years ago, I had a desire to book gigs with Corporate Party Bands. I had great interest in becoming a performer and wanted to further my education. It was suggested I take dance classes because it could increase performance opportunities for me. When I found Dance 101, I immediately began taking classes. I had never studied dance prior to 101 and never really thought I would be interested in dancing. I occasionally had picked up a book here and there on ballroom, but never really gave it much thought. Which, looking back now, seems really remarkable to me.

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dance 101 instructor since 2019
Classes: Music Videography, Heels

The most important thing you should know about Dance 101 is you are never alone on your dance journey. From the moment you walk through the doors you become a part of the Dance 101 family. We take care of each other… always.

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dance 101 instructor since 2005
Classes: Video Pop, Pop Jazz, Turns & Leaps

While my career as a professional dancer is behind me, I approach teaching with the same passion and dedication. Building something special feeds me. Creating choreography, teaching steps, and watching the entire process from beginning to end is thrilling to me. The community at 101 has given me so much.

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